Theory and Practice of Authenticity in Global Cultural Production

Sinergia-Projekt finanziert durch den Schweizerischen Nationalfonds (SNF)

Authenticity Forschungsteam
1. Reihe: Viola Marchi, Christina Cavedon;
2. Reihe: Dietmar Wetzel, Thomas Claviez, Britta Sweers;
3. Reihe: Kornelia Imesch, Martine Hennard Dutheil, Ryan Kopaitich, Jasmin Chanine, Lea Hagmann
(von links nach rechts)

Conference Announcement

At the occasion of this project coming to a close in January 2017, a conference bearing the project's title will take place at the University of Bern from 17 to 19 November, 2016. For further information, please visit the conference website.

Project Description

While in academia the notion of authenticity has been increasingly discredited, it thrives as a label within popular discourses and for the marketing of cultural artefacts. Considering both practice and theory of cultural production, the project brings together researchers from the fields of literature, literary theory, sociology, musicology, and art history to examine the following questions:

1) Under what conditions, by whom, and for whom is the concept of ‘authenticity’ deployed, rejected, or debated, and who profits from it?

2) How can we explain the lasting power of authenticity in cultural practice?

3) How do notions of authenticity differ regarding objects, subjects, and collectives?

4) How can a cross-disciplinary methodology be devised through which to analyze the social function of the notion of ‘authenticity’ in both theoretical and pragmatic terms?

Regular public lectures and workshops invite a broader audience to discuss the ways in which promises and dangers inherent in the notion of authenticity contribute to the construction, perpetuation, or suppression of collective identities in a globalizing world of ever-increasing cultural flux.

Subprojekt A:
Post-Authentic Society? Toward a Metonymic Poetics of Community


Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter

Subproject B:
Musical Modes of Authenticity



Reading List Subproject B

Subproject C:
Authenticity and Hybridity in Culture, Art and Architecture of the Greater Middle East




Christina Cavedon

Christina Cavedon (maiden name: Rickli) acts as the project’s coordinator. In 2011, she completed her doctoral thesis “Eclipsing Melancholia: American Cultural Trauma Templates Before and After 9/11,” supervised by Prof. Dr. Thomas Claviez (University of Berne) and Prof. Dr. Philipp Schweighauser (University of Basel). Her book developed out of the doctoral thesis is titled Cultural Melancholia: US Trauma Discourses Before and After 9/11 (Amsterdam: Brill/Rodopi, 2015). Likewise in 2011, she got certified as a research manager (CAS Research Management, University of Berne). Next to her position as a coordinator, she works as a self-employed translator, editor, and research manager (company name: Verbal Verve). Her academic background is interdisciplinary, as she studied English Languages and Literatures, Film Studies, and Art History at the University of Zurich.